The Atlanta Summer Classics, held June 14-25 at the Georgia International Horse Park in Conyers, provided a great start to the summer show season for Finally Farm riders and horses.
For Megan Schall, Week 2 proved particularly memorable as she and Frederica made their 3’3” Amateur-Owner Hunter debut. They won three of the five section classes and placed second in the Handy round.
"Meg did the Adult Amateurs during Week I and was reserve champion, so we thought it was time. This week she moved up to the 3’3”, and what a debut it was," said trainer Liza Boyd. "It was very exciting. I asked her, 'When’s the last time you did a handy?' She said, 'When I was a junior!' The mare is really coming along, and Meg rode her super."
Liza and Frederica also earned the 3'3" Green Hunter championship both weeks of Atlanta as well as top ribbons in the USHJA Green Hunter Incentive Stake class. Similarly, Elizabeth Fogleman's Sawyer continued to rack up the ribbons in the 3'3" Greens and the USHJA Stake classes, with excellent performances both weeks.
Liza piloted Finally Farm's Clemens to another solid performance in the USHJA International Hunter Derby during Week 2 as she prepares him for the USHJA International Hunter Derby Championship in August.
"I didn't show him the first week because I wanted to save him for Week 2, which was a WCHR week," said Liza of her showing strategy. "I wanted to aim him for the 3'6" Greens, and he was champion and got good WCHR points.
"The International Derby was Friday morning, and it was quite a good derby and competitive," she noted. "There were many seasoned horses in the class. Clemens was great in the Classic Round, and placed fourth, but did get a little green in the Handy Round. It was partially rider error, as well," she added with a smile. "I angled him for a slice, and he wasn't sure whether we wee jumping the high or low option, and he swapped. But he did all of the inside turns, which were tricky and tough, and he did all the high options. We ended up sixth overall, and I was really pleased with him."
Cassanto and O’Ryan continued their winning streaks during both weeks of Atlanta, earning tricolor honors and many blue ribbons. Liza was especially thrilled with Cassanto's performances during Week 2.
"Stella rode him amazing!" she said. "They won three classes, and he jumped beautifully. He really loves her and goes the best for her. She frames him up a little, and he just loves the way she rides him. She had one of the best trips I’ve ever seen her have, so that was really rewarding."
Once again Devin Seek assisted with the riding duties for Finally Farm, showing Trinity for Mary Carton Mitchener in the 3'6" Juniors where they earned the reserve championship and won the Junior Hunter Classic.
"Mary Carton is going to California to college, so Trinity will now be for sale," said Liza. "He's a great Junior/Amateur Hunter and was also reserve champion in the 3'6" Performance Working Hunters with me. Devin is catch riding him for Junior Hunter points and did a great job."
Maggie Hill returned to the East Coast after finishing up school in Wyoming, and she didn't miss a beat. She piloted Co Co Chanel to the 3'3" Junior Hunter reserve championship and won the 3’3” Junior Hunter Classic.
"This was a tough division, with 26 in it, and it wasn't split," said Liza. "She actually tied for the reserve with Co Co and Shamrock, so that was great. It was exactly one year ago that she started leasing Shamrock, and to see how far they’ve come in a year is awesome. The last round they scored an 87 in the Handy, and it's so fun to see how they've both grown and matured. Even though she wasn't able to show Week 1, she sent him with me for the USHJA National Hunter Derby, which helped him gain more mileage and he ended up second."
In the jumpers, Finally Farm riders also claimed top honors. Kelly Maloney and Justified earned championship honors in the Adult Amateur 1.10m section. "Kelly hadn’t shown in a little while, so it was great for her to pop in and win. All of those miles in Florida really paid off, and Kelly rode really well."
Lily Bennett jumped to the reserve championship in the 1.15m Children's/Adult Jumpers with Zimba, continuing her move up the levels.
Finally Farm now takes a short break from showing, but the summer fun and jumping continues on!